On Being Black And Middle Class Essay

The analysis I present here refers to people living in the city of Bogotá, the majority of whom come from the Pacific Region, the area that has the largest proportion of Afro-descendent people in the country.On the basis of an analysis of their social trajectories over the course of three generations – their own, their parents’, and their grandparents’ – we identify two main groups defined by the type of social mobility: those that reproduce the social situation of their parents and grandparents, and those that improve socially upon their forebears.

by Mara Viveros-Vigoya, National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia Numerous studies have shown that the Colombian population of African origin has the lowest income level, the poorest quality of life, the highest rate of child labor, the lowest rate of social security affiliation, and the highest demographic vulnerability of any group in Colombia (Urrea , 2004).

Moreover, the small number of black men and even smaller number of black women in senior positions in civil society, the State, and private companies, as well as the lack of positive images of black men and women in the media, and the symbolic representations of them in public places, merely affirm the persistence of racism in Colombia.

In this context, does it make sense to undertake studies of the few black people who have not been exposed to these experiences?

In the second group, we can also distinguish different rates of mobility – some rise more gradually and others more rapidly.

The results of our analysis suggest that women’s trajectories tend to be more reproductive than those of men – in other words, women show less upward social mobility than men.

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